Manning Street Project Reports: Objectional behaviour evictions and Police photography of children

Students participating in the Manning Street Project, a pro bono partnership between the UQ Pro Bono Centre and Caxton Legal Centre, have produced two reports to finalise their work from semester 1, 2018. 

Objectional Behaviour Evictions in Social Housing 

This report covered legislation, policy and case law in relation to the termination of social housing tenancies on the grounds of objectionable behaviour. 

It observes:  

“Overall, there appear to be two common instances in which tenants are adversely affected by the objectionable behaviour provisions. First, where the tenant’s behaviour is not voluntary. This often occurs where the tenant is suffering from a physical disability or mental illness, and the behaviour complained of is a manifestation of this. Second, where the behaviour complained of is out of the control of the tenant. This may arise from unwanted or uninvited guests at the premises, or where socio-cultural obligations mean that it is unreasonable for the tenant to ask another occupant to leave. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tenants are particularly susceptible to the latter circumstances, as familial and kinship obligations extend beyond that of immediate family.” 

Police photography of children in Queensland: An analysis of police powers and privacy rights  

In January 2018, media reports were released claiming that children in the streets of Mount Isa were being stopped and photographed by Queensland Police Officers who were also recording their name, address and where they were going as part of a police operation, Operation Tucson, to reduce crime in the area. The operation triggered concerns about the lawfulness of photographing children in the street and how the photographs were going to be retained and used. At the time, Acting Assistant Commissioner, Kev Guteridge, said that the photographs were being used to eliminate the photographed persons from suspicion in other police investigations. In response to the reports, vice-president of the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties, Terry O’Gorman, said that ‘Police do not have the power, and should not have the power, to willy-nilly walk down the streets, take photographs of people and put them on the major Queensland Police Service database’. Queensland Police Minister Mark Ryan issued a statement that the officers conducting the operation had all acted within the law. 

This report contextualises police photography in Queensland, considers the effectiveness and social implications of police targeting and photography operations and makes recommendations.